Just like with most award shows held during the pandemic, this year’s Oscars is going to be anything but normal.
Like with most live events, award shows were drastically impacted by the pandemic, with some being held virtually while others have been canceled entirely. The past few big awards shows tried a mix of in-person gatherings with Zoom appearances of the nominees. This is what the 2020 Emmy Awards and the 2021 Golden Globes did to relative success.
The 2021 Grammys, meanwhile, had as many nominees as possible appear in person for the show on a rooftop setting with most performances being done live while some were pre-recorded.
With the Oscars coming very soon, we are now reaching the end of the 2021 awards season. As the finale to the awards season, the 2021 Oscars promises to be special, unique, and distinct from the past awards shows. Here is everything you need to know.
It will be held in multiple venues
For decades, the Oscars have been held at the Dolby Theatre. This year will be different as multiple venues will be the official site of the Oscars. Most of the nominees will be at Union Station in Downtown Los Angeles where most of the awards will be given. Only those who are up for a certain category will be allowed in the showroom while the rest wait in two nearby courtyards. According to the show’s producers, this change in venue is meant for a more “intimate” event. There will still be some action held at the Dolby Theatre though. For nominees who can’t fly to LA, the Oscars have set up 10-12 Oscar hubs around the world like in London and Paris for nominees to join via satellite link.
The show is going to be filmed and presented as a movie
Unlike in the past, this year’s Oscars is to be filmed differently and be presented and shot like a movie. According to the show’s producers, Steven Soderbergh, Stacey Sher, Jesse Collins, “It plans to look cinematic… you’ll feel like you’re watching a movie and essentially operate as a movie, with presenters playing versions of themselves, working scripts crafted based on pre-show interviews and emphasizing the communal nature of the film industry by equally celebrating big names and below-the-line contributors.” The further the narrative, the presenters will be called cast members. Other features that will be used to enhance the story include wide lensed angles, a musical score, and creative over-the-shoulder camera angles of the attendees’ reactions.
There will be no host this year
Just like in the 2019 and 2020 Oscars, this year’s Oscars will have no host. Instead, “guides” will be used to shepherd the viewer through each chapter of the 3-hour event, or movie as the producers call it, using pre-recorded interviews with the people in front and behind the camera.
Attendees won’t be required to wear masks during the show
This year’s Academy Awards is being treated like a movie, so people on camera and up for an award will not be wearing a mask. They will however wear a mask during commercial breaks and when not on camera. This is a departure from past award shows like the Golden Globes and Grammys when every attendee was required to wear a mask and only take it off when presenting or giving an acceptance speech.
There will be safety measures in place
With that being said, proper safety measures will still be enforced. Attendees will be required to test at least three times for COVID-19 before arriving at the venue. There will also be mandatory temperature checks at the entrance. The showroom will be limited to 170 people at max. Audience members will also be rotated in and out of the venue so only those who need to be in the room will be there.
There will be pre and post Oscars specials
The 2021 Oscars isn’t a one-and-done event as there will be specials aired before and after the show. Pre-show, there will be a special called Oscars: Into The Spotlight where every Oscar-nominated song will be performed in full on the rooftop of the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures. This is a departure from the past when the Oscar-nominated songs were performed during the show. Post-show, there will be a special called Oscars: After Dark, which will recap the must-see moments and show the winners having their Oscars engraved.
There may be some surprises in store
When Steven Soderbergh was asked about the role masks will play in the Oscars, he cryptically said masks will play “a very important role in the story, if that’s cryptic, it’s meant to be, that topic is very central to the narrative.” It has been rumored that there will be a tribute to first responders in the show, so it’s possible that there may be some surprises.
Oscar history could be made
When the nominees were announced for the 2021 Oscars, history was already made. 9 of the 20 acting nominees were people of color, which is the most it has ever been. Emerald Fennel and Chloé Zhao’s nominations for Best Director made it the first time that more than one woman was nominated in the category in the same year. Further Oscars history could be made during the show as all four acting awards could go to people of color. Chloé Zhao could be the second woman and first woman of color to win Best Director.
The 93rd Academy Awards will air on Monday, April 26, 8 am, PH time.